WSU Technology Knowledge Base

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Digital Life and Learning
Technology info for living your digital life
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Search our growing collection of helpful articles about campus technology. Can't find what you need? Email us and we will add it. We welcome student, faculty, and staff contributions to this site. If you are interested in contributing, let us know. Please enjoy your stay!

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Tip of the Month: Microsoft SkyDrive for Students

WSU & Office 365
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This article is part of the

Office 365 Guide

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About this article

This article provides an overview of Microsoft's OneDrive for Business (formerly known as SkyDrive Pro) cloud storage service. It is intended for both students and employees.

What's OneDrive for Business?

Microsoft OneDrive for Business is an industrial-strength, business-class file storage and management service built on Microsoft's SharePoint technology. OneDrive for Business provides you with 1 TB of space in the cloud, a geeky way of saying that your files are stored off campus on a Microsoft file server that you can access via the Internet. OneDrive for Business is an important component of Microsoft's new vision for business productivity and collaboration, anchored by their web services: Office 365 and SharePoint Online. Every WSU student and employee has a OneDrive for Business. Whether you decide to use it or not is entirely up to you.

How does OneDrive for Business differ from OneDrive?

OneDrive is Microsoft's free, personal, consumer-class cloud storage solution, available to anyone with a Microsoft account. It's similar to the free version of Google Drive or Dropbox Basic. You can have both a personal OneDrive and a WSU OneDrive for Business, but they are two completely independent services with different login credentials.

Additional features

  • All OneDrive for Business network servers are located in the continental United States
  • Integrated with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2013 (e.g., shows up on your device as a location to which you can Save files)
  • Upload and access many common file types from multiple devices using your favorite web browser
  • Organize your cloud storage using your own folder structure
  • Share files and folders with others at WSU and beyond
  • Sync your cloud files and folders to your Windows computer (Mac OS X synchronization coming soon!)
  • iOS tablet apps for viewing, editing, and uploading your files

How does this differ from other cloud storage services?

OneDrive for Business differs from other services (e.g., Google Drive, Dropbox, Box) in several important ways:

  • It's the only cloud storage service supported by WSU. If you use any other service, you are on your own.
  • It's not an ad-supported, no ads!
  • It's licensed, reliable, and fully supported by Microsoft engineers, who we can actually call directly if we have any questions or problems.
  • Microsoft does not assert any ownership over your files.
  • It's more secure and accessible, making it ideal for work and school-related storage.
  • It integrates with other systems and services at WSU.

Does Microsoft own your files?

In OneDrive for Business, "You own your data and retain all rights, title, and interest." Microsoft does not assert any legal ownership over your intellectual property stored in your OneDrive for Business.

Are your files private and secure?

They are private to the same degree as your files on your WSU personal network directory or R drive. By default, any file you upload to your OneDrive for Business cannot be accessed by any other network user unless you decide to share it. However, there are Microsoft network administrators who can access your files if required (e.g., if subpoenaed), just as WSU network administrators can access your files stored on our campus network. According to Microsoft's Office 365 terms of service, they do not mine your data for advertising purposes and they only use it to help provide the service. For example, if you are having trouble with your OneDrive for Business, a network administrator might look at your files and usage log to determine when you last uploaded a file or whether you uploaded a file infected with a virus. In today's digital world, it's safe to assume that any file you transmit and/or store on the Internet is accessible by someone else. That doesn't mean you shouldn't use the service; you just need to behave accordingly. If you have any questions or concerns about the privacy of your data in OneDrive for Business, contact our ITS Security Officer, Toby Schmidt (

Is it reliable?

Service uptime for the most recent quarter was 99.97%. Microsoft's financially-backed customer service level agreement sets 99.9% as the uptime threshold. If WSU experiences monthly uptime that is less than 99.9%, Microsoft will compensate us through service credits.

What's SharePoint Online and why should I care?

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Those of you who use our campus SharePoint services will appreciate knowing that your OneDrive for Business is actually just a large document library in a SharePoint site located off campus. It you poke around in your OneDrive for Business, you will find SharePoint features and functions that you may recognize. We recommend that you avoid poking around for the time being. We actually wish Microsoft hadn't exposed so many of your document library's SharePoint menus and settings because you can really mess things up if you don't know how to use them properly. The fact that OneDrive for Business is SharePoint will become more important as we transition from campus-based to cloud-based SharePoint services over the next few years. If you have no idea what all this means, that's fine. You do not need expert knowledge of SharePoint to use your OneDrive for Business.

Learn how to use OneDrive for Business

Related Articles


Featured Tool: Adobe Fireworks

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Adobe Fireworks is a graphic design tool that really focuses on the preparation of images for use on the Web. Less complex than Adobe Photoshop, it is a great tool for developing Web-ready graphics quickly. It can also be very helpful for developing Web pages and interactive Web content. You can:

  1. Rapidly prototype web pages
  2. Create and optimize interactive images (e.g., image maps, rollovers) for the web quickly and accurately
  3. Export a clickable prototype of a page as an interactive PDF file, so you can easily collect comments from reviewers and demo your designs
From the full article: Fireworks

Geek Speak 101: VPN

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VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Using the Cisco VPN client software, you can connect a WSU laptop or home computer to the WSU network from off campus. This software is already installed on all WSU laptops. You can install it on a personally-owned computer yourself. A VPN connection enables you to access select network resources as if you were on campus connected to our network directly. This includes:

From the full article: VPN

The Faculty Exchange

>> Learn more about faculty applications of technology.

What's This?

Knowledge Base News

  • 12/11/13 - This year we have added many new articles and have received very positive feedback from the WSU community regarding our new and improved Technology Knowledge Base. Thank you everyone for your comments and contributions. Please continue to email any comments or suggestions that you have to us. We appreciate your feedback.
  • 4/12/12 - Welcome to the new and improved Technology Knowledge Base at! After a year of pilot testing the MediaWiki tool, we established a production version of the knowledge base over the semester break and just finished moving all of our content from the testing site to this new, permanent site. We are still cleaning up a few things, but the new knowledge base is now open for business. Please email to let us know what you think.